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Theater Mid-Term Exam
Terms in this set (74)
The Math and Sciences tend to focus on "how things work", the Liberal Arts tend to focus on "how you work."
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
"We learn our first lessons through imitation."
"Poetry (theatre) is more philosophical than history, history only tells what was, opeorty can tell us what could be..."
"We go to the theatre to see people live lives we're afraid we can't live ourselves"
"We don't need to study more history or philosophy, we need to engage more stories... different stories."
Linear Narrative Structure
A narrative that goes in chronological order from beginning to end.
Aristotle's 3 literary "narrative" expressions/subdivisions?
We appear to be unique in the universe, in that, we can create, and imagine things that do not exist, and possess the means to make them.
Beauty and design mean something to us.
Theatre studies is divided into what four sub-categories?
Of these four sub-categories, which tends to dominate (or at least strongly inform) the other three?
Dramaturgy (The stories theatre tells)
A. Story: Includes everything that you need to know, or could know
B. Plot: Includes everything that you see on stage or screen
C. Point of Attack: Where the plot begins in the Story, or where in the story the plot begins
D. Action of the Plot: at its essence--What is being done in the plot? What conflict is being overcome? What is the "happening" in the plot, what's driving it forward?
E. Structure: How the Work is put together on the page, stage and/or screen is part of how it makes meaning
What are the four classifications/works of theory? List them and give a brief definition for each.
1. Review: Analysis of a person's work
2. Criticism: Literary analysis of a collection of works
3. Structuralism: A method for analyzing phenomena
List the five concerns of theory
Framework a theorist utilizes to gain power over a discussion of theory
Epistemological "ground zero" for theoretical work.
Aiming to respond one's self reflection
Define Theatre (pils anyone?)
What are the functions of Theatre? (list and define)
A. To entertain: to provide sexual pleasure
B. To instruct: to teach us
C. To move: to enlighten and affect us through emotions (empathy)
In order to be entertaining, a play must generate empathy between the spectator and the spectacle (audience and actor).
There is no appropriate "ascetic distance" between the spectator and the spectacle-- that's out of an auteur's control.
How do we judge aesthetic distance?
By determining whether or not it admires the plot or the rest of the work.
What are 2 ways to interfere with the proper Aesthetic Distance?
A. Over distance: Something gets in the way of our psychic relationship with the performance
B. Under distance: Something draws our psychic relationship too close, too real, too shocking, etc.
The Mind's Job in Theatre is:
To evoke the imagination of spectators, which can allow them, via the active viewing, to explore the ideas presented "out of the box."
Theatre has traditionally been considered primarily a medium of Language.
The camera tells you where to look, what is important, and why, etc. The focus of our attention is primarily under the media's control.
The whole stage is always available to our perception. The focus of our attention is primarily under our control.
What kind of viewing is theatre?
The manipulation of time and space in theatre (scenic expansion) is primarily accomplished in the same manner as film and TV.
The emphasis on realistic spectacle OVER our relationship with the characters (point of ego ID) can create real problems in terms of aesthetic distance.
An example of OVER distance
Something on stage gets in the way of what's happening in front of the performers.
Why is film considered "passive viewing"?
We focus our attention to one thing on screen before shifting to the next scene.
It is literally the love of seeing.
A system of ideas and beliefs, especially those which form the basis of economic, political, and cultural practice(s). Often considered "normative/universal" and "self-evident."
Problem of Transmission
The unique communicative mechanism that defines Theatre
This theorist proposed 3 paradigms to understand how artists/theorists approach their work; i.e. liberal, radical, and materialist.
"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but their social existence that determines their consciousness."
Who developed the idea of 3 primordial forces; of Race (DNA), Millieu (environment) and Moment (present situation), which may be compared to algebraic formulas?
Who claimed that the artist should emulate the scientist, that theatre doesn't have a didactic (or moral) purpose but rather an experimental one? As a playwright, he claimed to be "simply an observer who states facts."
The basic tenant of Cultural Materialism is that our identity is formed primarily as a product of our "class"-- rather than anything innate--and that "class" is structured and maintained hegemony.
Sees the liberal position as a mere "mask" for the status quo. This methodology looks for new ways of doing and creating--a distinctly "black" "female" "millennial" voice and art. Most concerned with justice in its work.
Seeks to explore how the "class" of gender, race, and orientation have been constructed or "produced" within a culture, usually via the same means as its economic production; i.e. how is the very idea of "black" "woman" "millennial" is produced, consumed, and maintained, in a given society.
To simply call for a place in the canon (accepted cultural perspective) for the work of other cultures, races, and genders. It posits no new tools, and is most concerned with quality; i.e. this thinking is interested in equal rights amendments (the system works, it just needs to be more inclusive).
The entertainment media we consume in America today is primarily...
Elements of the Plot
Exposition: the immediate situation -- What's up till now, where are we starting?
Inciting moment: action that gets the plot rolling; it begins the chain reaction that will start everything that will happen in your story
Rising action: the events that lead to climax; character development, theme, etc. occurs here
Turning point: where the means to accomplish the action of the plot changes
Climax: where the Action of the Plot is resolved/concluded, who wins the conflict
Resolution: where any lose ends in the plot are tied up after the climax
Theme or central idea: usually stated in a single sentence and NOT a retelling of the story; a statement of main idea or the underlying meaning of the work, most often carrying a strong/clear point of view (opinion)
Three types of conflict
A. Wo/Man vs Wo/Man
B. Wo/Man vs Cosmos, Nature, God, etc.
C. Wo/Man vs Himself
The primary character who we empathize with.
* They are the point of Ego Identification
* Often not perfect, but Aristotle says we must believe in their goodness over and above their faults.
The character who directly opposes the Protagonists' task/mission, or holds the opposing view.
Support the action without necessarily effecting it.
Types of minor characters
* Witnesses; i.e. someone reporting on the events though not necessarily directly involved.
* Foil-Characters (foils); provide a contrast to highlight the features of the main character.
* Confidant; i.e. a close friend of the protagonist to whom they can confide in.
The psychological make-up of the Persons who performs action of play.
* Mono-dimensional: the film/play presents a character (protagonist/antagonist) with a single psychological/motivational force driving them; i.e. a single dominate characteristic.
* Multi-dimensional: a character that has multiple psychological/motivational forces driving them; i.e. a number of defining characteristics, sometimes conflicting ones.
How the character changes--or don't--through the Action of the Plot.
* Static: the character undergoes no meaningful change or journey in their personal development through the narrative; i.e. values, outlook on life, or attituded remain unchanged from the beginning of the plot until the end. They remain the same.
* Dynamic characters undergo a significant development or change throughout the narrative; i.e. the events that constitute the action of the plot have a direct effect on the protagonist's psychological structure.
Mono-dimensional, static characters; i.e. stereotype or "stock type." Stock characters work if the play or movie's central idea or theme is carried via the plot (and not via character development).
Multi-dimensional, dynamic characters who we, as audience, usually we need time to understand completely. Commonly used in plays that carry the theme/central idea through the character's journey.
A. Development of realistic characters, dealing with emotionally significant themes. So mostly complex protagonists (and often antagonists)
B. A crucial moment in the characters' lives
C. The Theme or Central Idea is usually carried through the interpersonal relationships of the characters and their development
The Plot begins well and/or with hope and ends poorly and/or without hope.
A. Emphasis is on the action of the plot, rather than on character development (simple characters abound)
B. Focus is on entertainment; though it can instruct
C. Clear cut good and evil characters
A play or film that focuses on social issues. The characters' problems, the causes and the potential solutions--thus an emphasis on "to instruct" rather than "to entertain".
Some element(s) of the plot are completely unconnected to the real world, but rather fantasy.
The element(s) being used to frighten or horrify us, are not really connected to the real world.
The "fantastic" or the elements unconnected to the real world are linked through science or technology to our current science and technology.
A form of drama that focuses on character inner turmoil over an external force (over the action of the plot).
Two ways of looking at our "sense" of humor:
A. Is comedy a science: i.e. psychological underpinnings—like Ego Identification. Or physiological—your tickled you laugh?
B. Is comedy an art? Are there objective rules, or all they subjective?
Sub-genres within comedy
• Satire: pokes fun at a real subject or person, often has an ideological "axe to grind."
• Comedy of Manners: this is a satire that focuses on social norms (like social drama).
• Farce: amuses us via unlikely, extravagant and improbable situation; often uses disguises, physical humor, mistaken identity, etc.
The person responsible for conceiving, developing, and implementing the artistic vision and function of the organization.
The chief administrative officer providing leadership in corporations business operations and is in charge of the business.
The artist who creates the look of each character by designing the clothes and accessories the actors will wear.
The person who plans and provides the sound effects in the play and is responsible for both the diegetic and non-diegetic sounds.
The person who makes the actors and their environment visible to the audience (illuminates the action of the play).
Set Designer (scenographer)
The artist who creates a coherent design of the entire physical surroundings--the set--in-upon which the action will take place.
The person makes sure everything the design team has imagined is built and/or executed.
The artist (auteur) who sets the vision for the production for everyone involved.
A liaison between the director and the rest of the production, providing practical and organizational support to the directors, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process.
The artists that bring the characters of the play or film to life.